Challenging Carceral Logics with Lori Gruen, Justin Marceau, Reginald Dwayne Betts ’16, and Michael Braham

Sep. 8, 2022
5:00PM - 6:30PM
Baker Hall Room 116
Open to the Public

Carceral logics permeate our thinking about humans and nonhumans. We imagine that greater punishment will reduce crime and make society safer. We hope that more convictions and policing for animal crimes will protect animals from cruelty. But is incarcerating humans the appropriate response to violence against nonhuman animals? In this panel discussion, moderated by LEAP Faculty Co-Director Doug Kysar, Professor Lori Gruen (Wesleyan University) and Professor Justin Marceau (University of Denver Strum College of Law) discuss their recent volume, Carceral Logics, which explores the intersection of issues that arise in thinking about animal law, violence, mass incarceration, and social change. Together with Reginald Dwayne Betts (YLS ‘16) and Michael Braham, they will highlight the problems with advocating for incarceration as a means of redressing harms to animals and discuss what social change lawyers—as well as animal advocates—can learn from the interconnections of oppression as they work to achieve liberation for all.

For those wishing to explore Carceral Logics, a full PDF of the volume is available for free here.

Lori Gruen is the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Science in Society at Wesleyan University. She coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies and is the author and editor of fifteen books, including Ethics and Animals, Ecofeminism, Entangled Empathy, and the just released Animal Crisis.

Justin Marceau is a Professor of Law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, the Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy, the Faculty director of the Animal Law Program, and an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Human Animal Connections at the Graduate School of Social Work. He is the author of more than 40 law review articles and essays, two textbooks, and Beyond Cages: Animal Law and Criminal Punishment.

Reginald Dwayne Betts (YLS ‘16) is a poet, lawyer, and Ph.D. in Law candidate at Yale. His work promotes the rights and humanity of people who are or have been incarcerated and is informed by his experience with incarceration after being tried as an adult for a carjacking at the age of sixteen. A 2021 MacArthur Fellow, he is the Executive Director of Freedom Reads, a not-for-profit organization that is radically transforming the access to literature in prisons through the installation of Freedom Libraries in prisons across this country. 

Michael Braham is a fellow with the Access to Law Program at Yale Law School and paralegal. A formerly incarcerated activist who fights for criminal justice reform in Connecticut, he works with Stop Solitary CT, an organization that aims to end the use of solitary confinement statewide and replace isolation with humane, safe, and effective alternatives. While in prison, he started an organization aimed at promoting higher education within disadvantaged communities. Since his release he is expanding the scope of this organization to include a full-service community center which will provide a safe haven for at risk youth.  He has been working with Justin Marceau and Lori Gruen as a member of the Alternatives to Cruelty Response Working Group.